I have really enjoyed doing some public speaking this year. I’m just back from the DDD Community Event in Galway and, once again, the feedback on my talk has been very positive. I always feel the responsibility of fulfilling people’s expectations, so hopefully I didn’t disappoint anybody. I must be doing something right though: 2 weeks ago I’ve been invited to present at Øredev, a ~1000 attendees conference in Sweden in November!
As promised, I put my slides on Slideshare. If you haven’t had a chance to attend, at least you could get a fair idea of what the session was all about. Let me know what you think! Don’t be fooled however, the slides are just a tiny part of the whole story.
In my exploration of how to design a better presentation, I used key books such as Presentation Zen and Beyond Bullet Points. I loved the ideas and approach of the first, the Hollywood-style methodology of the latter.
In my quest, I also came across Made to Stick, an eye-opener book which gives amazing examples of how simple, unexpected, concrete, credible and emotional stories can make ideas memorable.
So, what is this new presentation style about? While PowerPoint has been fundamentally the same for almost 20 years, our use of it is beginning to change. Slides are finally becoming more visual and essential, with a renewed appreciation of how people learn. I am particularly interested in the focus on stories and movie structures to make our messages more compelling.
It’s a fascinating idea isn’t it? In fact, I want to develop it further. Content matters more than ever. Pretty pictures that don’t carry a compelling story are just (annoying) pretty pictures.
In preparation for my next presentation, I just received 7 books on screen writing and more are on the way (speed-reading is handy, isn’t it?). No, I won’t be the next Stephen Spielberg and I don’t see myself walking down a red-carpet event any time soon. But I want to learn as much as I can from that industry to be better at mine. My challenge will be to present a potentially dense technical topic in a dramatic and captivating fashion. Who said it is going to be easy? It will be my pet project for my next few months, 48 minutes at a time.